NEW ROADS, LA (WAFB) - Many communities in the area fill the summer months with youth employment programs, but one Louisiana city is trying something a little different, as working alongside some of those kids will be some willing employees a little longer in the tooth.
The Summer Senior Employment Program is set to debut in New Roads on Monday.
Seniors 62 years old and older, like Bertha Wise and Delores Little, will soon leave retirement and head back to work. It is part of a month-long initiative that will put the seniors at places like the Pointe Coupee Council on Aging to serve meals and help others or at city hall and the police department to do clerical work.
"Just so good to be back in the workforce, you know, and to contribute what you're able to contribute to the program," said Wise.
The program is the brainchild of New Roads Mayor Robert Myer, who said the city will spend just over $10,000 putting these eager seniors to work.
"They do this kind of work for free, but now it's a chance to get a little bit back that helps their families, helps them and anytime we can put food on the table in a legitimate way, I think it's a good thing for our entire community," said Myer.
The program is limited to those who live within the New Roads city limits, but with a population a little more than 4,800 people, Myer said the seniors in town should be relied on like any other valuable asset in the community.
"Retired from the school system, who retired from the hospital and other jobs and plants and different things like that, so they have unique talents they're bringing back into the workforce, so our kids are going to learn from it. I think we'll learn from it," Myer added.
"I'm anxious to get out and do whatever I can," said Little. "I go all the time. I just can't sit still, like I said, I retired in '85 and I've been moving ever since."
Myer said if the new program goes well, then the city will explore expanding it in the near future.